Palawan, Kalinga get P325M worth of farm tech
MANILA, Philippines —The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) last week distributed farm machines worth a total of P324.5 million to farmers in Kalinga and Palawan amid continuing efforts to raise productivity and ensure food security.
PHilMech, which is under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture, said it handed over 74 units of rice machines and facilities worth P280 million to farmers in Narra, Palawan.
Also, the province received 21 units of four-wheel drive tractors complete with implements, seven units of walk-behind transplanters, and four units of riding-type transplanters.
PHilMech also provided 24 units of combine harvesters, 13 units of six-ton recirculating dryers, three units of multi-stage rice mills that can process 1.5 tons per hour, and two units of multi-stage rice mills with a capacity of two to three tons per hour.
Further, the agency turned over agricultural machinery worth to P44.5 million to farmer-beneficiaries in Tabuk City.
Also delivered to Kalinga are 11 units of four-wheel tractors, seven units of combine harvesters, three units of hand tractors, one unit of rice precision seeder, and two units of 6-ton recirculating dryer.
Since 2019, PHilMech has provided a total of 723 units of various rice machinery and equipment with an estimated cost of P766 million under the mechanization component of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
This benefited 259 qualified farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and local government units (LGUs).
Kalinga alone got 152 units of agricultural machinery and postharvest facilities worth P124.4 million for 60 FCAs and LGUs.
The distribution of farm equipment is one of the items under the rice fund created in 2019 following the enactment of the Rice Tariffication Law.
The law liberalizes the importation, exportation and trading of rice as well as lifts the import quota restrictions on rice.
To compensate for liberalization which, advocates of local farmers argue, is detrimental to them, initiatives to improve the competitiveness, productivity and income of farmers nationwide are instituted under RCEF.
Funded by annual tariff revenues from rice imports that exceed P10 billion, the kitty is used to extend financial assistance to farmers for titling agricultural lands, expand crop insurance coverage and promote crop diversification.
Half of the budget or P5 billion goes to farm machinery for rice farmers, P3 billion for high-yielding seeds and P1 billion each for capacitating farmers and credit support. INQ